Nail Fungus Symptoms

A nail fungus infection is an unsightly and difficult condition to treat, but treating it early before the infection becomes severe and irreversible will bring optimum results. As an infection advances it becomes increasingly difficult if not impossible to cure. Nipping an infection in the bud can prevent considerable future discomfort and unpleasantness. Seek a diagnosis from your medical practitioner as early as possible in order to find an effective toenail fungus treatment and cure.

Recognizing nail fungus symptoms and the various stages of development will help you understand the condition and how it progresses. The symptoms can be broken down into three basic categories.

Nail Fungus Symptoms: Early Stage

During the early stages of a nail fungal infection there is very little pain or discomfort. In fact, the symptoms are so subtle that many people overlook the mild early stage and its significance. By the time the infection becomes uncomfortable it is already past the point of an early intervention. The earliest symptoms of nail fungus are a white or yellow tinged spot on the edge of the nail. There may be yellow streaks as well. That's not much to go on, but if you are in a high risk category, which we will get to later, you will want to examine your nails periodically for the nail fungus symptoms.

Nail Fungus Symptoms: Intermediate Stage

If a fungal infection has in fact begun and it is not treated it will begin to spread. The entire toenail or fingernail will gradually become yellow and dull. The nail will continue to thicken and change shape. This is when most people realize something is wrong.

The nail may begin to crumble at the edges as the fungus advances and the nail may begin to separate from the nail bed. It will likely become painful, especially when pressure is applied. The nail may also begin to grow into the skin as it thickens and deforms thereby mimicking an ingrown toe nail.

Nail Fungus Symptoms: Advanced Stage

In the advanced stages of a nail fungus infection the nail can become completely separated from the nail bed leaving the skin beneath exposed. The nail will just crumble away and will have a very bad odor that is sort of a musty smell.

Secondary infections can occur as a result of the nail growing into the skin. In its most advanced stages the nail will crumble off completely, re-grow and repeat the cycle. At this point, treatment is extremely difficult and rarely successful.

Obtaining a Diagnosis from Nail Fungus Symptoms

If you suspect you have nail fungus symptoms, it is extremely important to have the diagnosis confirmed by a medical practitioner. Only about half of all, thickened, discolored fingernails and toenails are caused by a fungal infection. There are other conditions and diseases that can replicate the symptoms of nail fungus, such as eczema, psoriasis and lichen planus. It is important not to waste time experimenting with treatments if you do not have an accurate diagnosis.

Your physician can verify your suspicions by taking a sample of material from beneath the nail. Using a KOH test or a fungal culture, the lab can determine what organism is causing the problem. It usually takes three or four weeks to obtain the results of a culture. The KOH test is much quicker.

High Risk Factors

Certain individuals are more prone to developing fungal nail infections. They are those who:

  • Sweat heavily
  • Are over 40
  • Wear tight footwear
  • Frequent showers and gyms
  • Have diseases affecting the immune system: diabetes and HIV
  • Experienced foot trauma
  • Have poor hygiene
  • Skin with an abnormal PH level
  • Have Peripheral artery disease

If you are in a high risk category, be alert to the mild symptoms of nail fungus. Catching an infection early and seeking treatment can stave off a worsening scenario and improve your odds of conquering the infection.

What to do next?

I recommend you to read my latest reviews about two natural nail fungus remedies that met our requirements and achieved a high success rate. These products, Zetaclear and Funginix, are free of side effects, very effective for most people, and affordable.

>> #1 Zetaclear - Click here to read a full review

>> #2 Funginix - Click here to read a full review


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Tags: Discolored Toenails; Toenail Fungus Symptoms; Yellow Toenails; Black Toenail fungus; Thick Toenails; White Toenails; Toe Nail Fungus Causes; toenail fungus treatments;